This chilling, suspenseful indictment of mind control is a classic of science fiction and will haunt readers long after the last page is turned. One by. Five fifteen-year-old orphans of widely varying personality characteristics are involuntarily placed in a house of endless stairs as subjects for a psychological. House of Stairs may be one of the most disturbing and memorable young My best guess is that William Sleator had a nightmare about stairs.
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It will be interesting to see how it speaks now.
Lola and Peter are emotionally engaging characters. I also read this as kid. The five year-old protagonists here are subjected to much wliliam same mindfuck pardon my Frenchenclosed in a never-ending space of stairs — there are no walls, no floors, no doors, no ceiling, just stairs, going up, going down.
They discover that it o works when the lights are flashing and it begins to whisper unintelligibly. Where was this book when I was younger??!?
In the beginningthey are forced to repeat a series of actions and movements, that evolve into a kind of dance, hoping to get food from the machine. Before too long he comes across a girl who has also ov left in this strange environment, then another two girls and a boy. There are some things that are too important to sacrifice for something as simple and petty as food and acceptance. The setup is this: This book was enthralling from the first scene, featuring Peter awakening on a landing intensely disoriented and frightened.
Not in the sense that a group of teens will be forcibly placed in a house of stairs, but that some more powerful person could mold our surroundings to make us do what they want us to do.
House of Stairs by William Sleator
Apr 01, Pages Middle Grade 10 and up. Even though they are healthy on the outside they have become mental grotesques, left in a state of being that they no longer have control over.
He goes on to realize that Oliver is not what nor who he needs and is able to see through the deceptiveness of Blossom, and with Lola’s help he really comes into his own as a strong individual. The story of five teenagers locked in a place that consisted only of stairs and landings, the way they were trained like Pavlov’s dogs to respond to the demands of a machine for food, demands that became ever more horrible.
Five strangers – all orphans, all sixteen years of age – are released, blindfolded, into a mammoth gleaming white room full of stairs. Though the machine rewards their cruel actions, it does not corrupt them: I didn’t remember reading this as a kid until I checked out the book and saw the same cover I’d stared at when I was younger. There is nothing warm and fuzzy in this book. Oct 11, Diana Welsch rated it it was amazing Shelves: In Singularity I identified with the main character’s major shift to develop independence, and in this I was fascinated by how Sleator describes one way in which people might be conditioned.
If nothing else, the lesson to be learned from this story is simple – be a human being. I hated them all especially Blossom and I also loved them all especially precious Peterand I admired their contrasting personalities, responses under pressure, and how they changed with prolonged hardship.
Post was not sent – check your email addresses! Twenty-four students were selected out of 75 to play the prisoners and live in a mock prison in the basement of the Stanford psychology building. Every character was unique and memorable.
This has relevance today, when we are debating the ethics of torture – is it a necessary evil that we must tolerate if our society is to survive, or is it an offense against our humanity? William Sleator’s suspenseful, almost sci-fi, novel is pretty old even older than me, but don’t tell anyonebut I think its lack of specific details means that it holds up pretty well. As an interesting aside, it wasn’t until I was much older that I figured out Peter’s sexuality.
It’s a short book, so I think it’s worthwhile for fans of The Hunger Games to give this old school book a try. Because even children of rich parents end up in orphanages, the novel suggests human life has become so cheap that children are not cherished. Blossom was affluent up until her only recently becoming an orphan, she was the only fat individual, and the only character I would consider to be genuinely deceptive and deviant in nature. That was an incredibly disturbing take on the psychological process of operant conditioning.
House of Stairs – William Sleator – Google Books
Having reread it, it’s safe to say that etairs memory of the book wasn’t quite accurate, but it’s a story that seems to have held up over time, quite well. House of Stairs by William Sleator paperback edition. They all have very distinct and believable personalities and motivations, and by the end it’s clear they represent some ways in which people deal with adversity in their lives even though Sleator makes them interesting reading for their own sake.
It is not a prison, not a hospital; it has no walls, no ceiling, no floor. She responds to an alien environment by exploring, seeking to learn the rules that govern it, and jogging to keep fit.
A YA writer who specializes in science fiction, Sleator has written his fair share of strange, fantastic and sometimes disturbing books. She tends to latch on to williiam people and question her own thoughts and actions. Several years ago, I saw a movie called The Cube. Where was this book when I was younger??!? Such is the nature of that experiment that the two children who resisted the conditioning were actually regarded as failures.
It was one more thing to rejoice in, one more way in which they had risen above the system, above the machine.
House of Stairs
Please try again later. It is established that all these characters are 16 year old orphans and that they were all abducted at their state homes and blind folded till they arrived on the stairs.
He mainly wrote science fiction novels for young adults. They find each other wioliam congregate around a machine that dispenses food upon correct behavioural patterns. The five characters are very different and very interesting.